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Popular Types of Discus Fish for Your Tank

Popular Types of Discus Fish for Your Tank

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you been looking into getting some discus fish? Many people love buying these fish simply because they’re gorgeous.

Discus fish can be very colorful and they’re also interesting to watch in a tank. You might be wondering what types of discus fish you will have to choose from.

Below, you’ll learn about many popular types of discus fish. This should help you to decide which one is right for your tank.

Consider all of the discus fish carefully and consider which fish appeals to you most. All of these fish are highly recommended for their beauty, but it’s up to you to decide which discus fish to buy.

Are Discus Fish Freshwater or Saltwater?

Discus fish are freshwater fish. So these fish don’t need salt in their fish tank water.

This is good news for many people who are beginners when it comes to fish tanks. Typically, it’s a lot tougher to set up and care for a saltwater fish tank than it is a freshwater tank.

Knowing that you don’t need to worry about water salinity is a good thing. Discus fish don’t need to be kept in saltwater.

Salt is sometimes used as a medical treatment for these fish in certain circumstances, though. A certain amount of aquarium salt can help with recovering from certain diseases, but you should always be careful when using aquarium salt and follow the instructions closely.

Are Discus Fish Tropical?

Yes, discus fish are considered to be tropical fish. They need to be kept in rather warm water temperatures.

You can find wild discus fish living in the waters of South America. Most discus fish like water temperatures that range from 82 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are some exceptions, though. Some discus fish such as the Heckel discus fish need water temperatures that are close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

As tropical fish, they’ll do well in tanks that have the right water temperature. These fish are among the most popular and pretty tropical fish that you can buy for your tank.

Heckel Discus Fish

The Heckel discus fish was mentioned briefly earlier. These are fish that like the water to be rather warm.

Many people love these fish because they have a unique look. Heckel discus fish are red and they have even rounder bodies than other discus fish.

There are different varieties of these fish that you’ll learn about later, but these are visually stunning fish. One thing that stands out about these fish is that they have thick bands in the middle of their bodies.

This is followed by a thinner band that is quite faint. If you’re looking for a pretty fish that will stand out in the fish tank you’ll be happy with buying Heckel discus fish.

Note that sometimes these fish aren’t sold under the Heckel discus fish name. There are aquarium stores that simply sell “red discus fish,” but these are Heckel discus fish.

Heckel Cross Discus Fish

The Heckel cross discus fish is a relatively new breed. These fish have been bred in specific ways so they will have certain colors and patterns.

This fish is known for having a gorgeous orange and blue pattern. The head of the fish is orange and you’ll see bits of yellow on the fins and tail.

You’ll also spot some white dots on the fins and tail. They have a dark blue band that almost looks black, too.

This band runs down the fish vertically right in the middle of the body. You can also see a band at the base of the tail.

Green Discus Fish

The green discus fish is one of the main types of discus fish. They’ve become very popular due to looking fantastic in fish tanks and being very colorful.

When looking at a green discus fish the first thing that stands out is how vibrant and green it is. Some of these fish will have a coloration that looks somewhere between green and light blue.

There are green discus fish that have white and black pattern lines as well. Some might have a yellow and green pattern while others will not.

If you want to own a classically beautiful discus fish, you won’t go wrong with buying green discus fish. Many people say that this is their overall favorite discus fish.

Brown Discus Fish

Brown discus fish are considered to be a subspecies of green discus fish. Since they’re so closely related to green discus fish they will look almost the same.

The big difference between brown and green discus fish is the color of their bodies. Brown discus fish are always going to feature somewhat brown bodies.

They can have either brown and yellow bodies or brown and green bodies. Another thing that’s unique about these fish is that they have unusual pectoral fins.

Their pectoral fins are transparent. When looking at their pelvic fins, you’ll see that they’re thinner than usual.

This is a pretty fish that mixes things up just enough to make them distinct from the green discus fish mentioned above. Some might prefer brown discus fish, but it’s easy to see why both types are appealing.

Blue Discus Fish

Blue discus fish haven’t been around for too long. These are newer types of discus fish that have been bred to look blue.

You can find these blue discus fish being sold in many shades of blue. Some of them will also have white or black patterns that you can enjoy.

Sometimes you’ll see these fish mixed with other colors as well. Blue discus fish are made by breeding green discus fish and brown discus fish selectively.

Breeders make fish that come in different shades of blue such as cobalt and royal blue. These fish look amazing in a fish tank and their care requirements are the same as other common discus fish types.

There Are Only Three Main Types of Discus Fish

You’ve learned about four different discus fish types so far. There are only three main discus fish types that you will find in the wild, though.

The green discus, brown discus, and Heckel discus are all found in the wild. Blue discus fish are simply variations that are bred from other discus fish.

You’ll find dozens of different types of discus fish being sold in aquarium stores these days. All of these fish are simply variants that have been bred by discus fish breeders.

Breeders take fish with certain qualities that they like and they breed them to make fish with unique looks. Some fish will have special colors while others will have interesting patterns.

For instance, you can find discus fish being sold that are white or nearly translucent. All of these fish were created via selective breeding.

New types of discus fish are being created all the time. People breed these fish and make new fish with interesting patterns and colors.

Many of the most colorful discus fish fall under the “variant” category. These fish aren’t a true type of wild discus fish, but they’re sold in aquarium stores for fish tank enthusiasts.

The Most Popular Types of Discus Fish

All discus fish are quite popular. You’ll find that discus fish are so popular because of how nice they look.

These fish are gorgeous and people seem to love how round they are. Discus fish are colorful and fun to watch in a fish tank.

So which discus fish type is the most popular? People seem to love buying the colorful variants of discus fish that are sold in aquarium stores.

Red turquoise discus fish have been popular in aquarium stores for years. These are very colorful fish that you’re going to fall in love with.

Cobalt discus fish are a type of blue discus fish. They’ve become incredibly popular due to how much their cobalt blue bodies stand out in the fish tank.

There are many other types of discus fish that are popular as well. It’s tough to definitively say which discus fish type is the most popular.

The Most Beautiful Types of Discus Fish

This is another subject that is going to be completely subjective. Beauty is something that is determined by the observer, after all.

You might decide that blue discus fish are the most beautiful of them all. Your friend might say that Heckel discus fish are prettier because of their bold red bodies.

Others might prefer green discus fish or brown discus fish. Many people find the more colorful variants such as cobalt discus fish and red turquoise discus fish to be the prettiest.

So you get to decide which discus fish is the most beautiful. It isn’t a question that someone else can answer for you.

Take a look at the different discus fish options that are available at your local aquarium stores. Choose the discus fish that you find to be most appealing.

Rare Discus Fish

There isn’t enough information to say what the rarest discus fish is. People are breeding discus fish all the time and new variants are created.

Earlier, you learned that Heckel discus fish, green discus fish, and brown discus fish are the main types that you’ll find in the wild. Other discus fish are bred from the main types in specific ways to create new variants.

The rarest discus fish would likely be a variant that is difficult to create. For example, a breeder might be able to make some types of discus fish with a very low rate of success.

Getting the fish to come out with certain patterns might take a lot of effort. So this fish would be rarer than other fish.

There simply isn’t a lot of data about which discus fish are considered to be rare. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find any information at all, though.

The more expensive the discus fish is the rarer it is likely to be. So local discus fish that are being sold will likely be rarer if they’re being sold at high prices.

It’s common for the colorful variants to be sold for more money than the standard types of discus fish. This is because it takes effort to breed these fish.

Which Discus Fish Should You Buy?

Determining which discus fish to buy is tough. You might find many of these fish to look fantastic.

Heckel discus fish, brown discus fish, green discus fish, and blue discus fish are all appealing for different reasons. The many types of variant fish that have been bred might appeal to you as well.

All discus fish are going to be pretty expensive. These fish are somewhat fragile and they’re sought-after.

This drives the price up and you’ll need to be prepared to spend a bit of money if you want to own these fish. You’ll need to buy a big fish tank for them as well.

Discus fish need to be kept in groups so you need to keep that in mind. You’re supposed to keep a minimum of three to five discus fish in a fish tank.

Just pick the fish that you think looks the best. You might also want to choose a fish that fits your budget as some discus fish will be costlier than others.

Final Thoughts

There are only three main types of discus fish that can be found in the wild. These are the Heckel discus fish, the brown discus fish, and the green discus fish.

You’ll find many more discus fish types being sold at stores, though. These are all variants that have been bred to look specific ways.

Breeders take the main fish and breed them selectively to produce discus fish with different colors and patterns. There are so many of these fish that it’s hard to keep track of them all, but cobalt discus fish and red turquoise are among the most popular.

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